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Lassonde research team selected by NASA to explore Mars


Lassonde Professor John Moores and his research team have been selected by NASA to provide Scientific and Operations support to the Mars Science Laboratory Mission (Curiosity).

The team includes Professor John Moores, MSc student Jake Kloos, Postdoctoral Fellow Christina Smith, and PhD Student Casey Moore.

The Lassonde team will be part of the mission through 2020 as they help plan out what the $2.5 billion Rover will do each day.

“We’ve been amazed by everything the Rover has sent back, but the whole of our team here at Lassonde is looking forward to where Curiosity takes us over the next four years. Who knows what discoveries are still out there over the next ridge line, just waiting to be made,” said Professor Moores.

A total of 28 proposals were selected out of nearly 100 submitted proposals from researchers around the world.

“It’s amazing to be a part of the MSL team and to see your work realized on such a large project. I can’t describe the feeling of hearing that your contributions are ‘Go’ to run on Mars!” said Christina Smith discussing this opportunity.

In addition to their work with Spacecraft Operations where they represent Environmental Science in many of the daily planning sessions, the team also makes videos of the movement of clouds and looks at the motion of dust within Gale crater.

The research team has put out five papers on this topic recently, two of which were helmed by the graduate students.


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